VoiceBox is a weekly public radio series on KALW 91.7 FM and multimedia project dedicated to exploring the art of singing and the best of the vocal music scene from the Bay Area and beyond.
The project seeks to highlight and contextualize the work of local singers and songwriters from across a wide range of genres as well as national and international artists, while stimulating in-depth, high quality discussion about the human voice and encouraging listeners to both broaden their musical horizons and participate in local singing activities.
VoiceBox capitalizes upon the tremendous popularity of vocal music in the Bay Area and the country as a whole.
According to a recent study by Chorus America, an estimated 32.5 million adults regularly sing in choruses today, up from 23.5 million in 2003. There are more than 500 choral groups in the Bay Area alone and more than one in five households nationwide have at least one singing family member, making choral singing the most popular form of participation in the performing arts for both adults and children. Singing has lately become the subject of a number of mainstream television shows such as NBC’s The Sing-Off and Fox’s Glee.
Yet despite the great artistic, social and health benefits of singing and its popularity among specific sectors of the population, there seems to be no place for people who love listening to vocal music or participating in singing activities to go to get focused, contextual reflection about their passion.
In response to this woeful state of affairs in the media and the public’s obvious passionate engagement with singing, VoiceBox aims to celebrate vocal music artists in the same intelligent, wide-ranging and in-depth manner as Terry Gross and Michael Krasny highlight authors, filmmakers and other cultural figures on national and local public radio respectively.
Each hour-long, thematically-organized show in the VoiceBox series is dedicated to exploring a particular vocal music topic such as why we sing, children’s choruses, and sea chanteymen, and has a strong, Bay Area focus. The project also aims to reach broader audiences through the development of an accompanying podcast series and web portal.